I decided to leave work around 2:00 pm on a Friday to get to the trailhead before dark. After stopping at the local Dan’s for some needed supplies; and while turning back onto Foothill Blvd. I was witness to a Cab mowing over a bicyclist, so I stopped and reported the license plate to the police and waited for the medic and cops to show. After about an hour I was back on the road.
We were having 100+ degree temps so the ride would be even warmer out through the West desert. I hit I80 West towards Tooele and stopped at the Tooele exit to fill up with gas, wasn’t sure what the road conditions would be like since I was taking the Pony Express way. After chatting with some of the Rainbow gathering groups I had seen while attending the non-organized gathering early in the month I hit I80 again. I drove west to exit 77 and headed south towards Dugway. It was my first time to Dugway (thought it was a public town). Much to my surprise I was greeted by a large group of armed troops surrounding my vehicle. After showing them where I was going they backed off and I was released. I had missed the left hand turn at the “Y” just before the compound.
Here’s where the road turns to gravel (dust, dust and more dust) for the next 70 miles to the trailhead. I didn’t see a single sole while traveling the Pony Express road. The thought of what to do if I broke down kept crossing my mind, burn spare tire? Hike ahead or back? Etc.
I finally made it to the trailhead around 8:00pm; it wasn’t what I had expected. It was forested, plenty of water and cool. So I ate, read and finally fell asleep.
I hit the trail around 6:00 am and started up the jeep trail to the trailhead about a ¼ mile ahead. It was surprisingly cool since the day would be in the low 100’s in a few hours. Because of the shade and the near proximity to the stream the hike to the saddle would be a pleasant one in regards to the temp. After following the jeep trail for 1.5 miles the road ends and the trail continues to the left. There are plenty of great areas to camp if wanting to get away from the trailhead. The trail becomes steeper and a few switchbacks come into play. About a mile from the end of the jeep trail you will encounter some small waterfalls and a few switchbacks. After another ½ mile I hit the saddle area and decided to just start towards the ridgeline in a northerly direction. This is a pleasant hike through large trees and open areas. The grade starts to gain while approaching the ridge. I stayed to the West side of the ridge to get a look down the west side of the mountain (towards Ibapah). I boulder hopped for a short distance and decided to cut back to the east side at which time I stumbled onto the trail that would led me to the summit. The sun was now hitting in full force but still the air was cool and breezy. I made the push to the summit while on a good trial that had about a dozen switchbacks. Spent about a half hour at the summit which has a bunch of mirrors broken and spewed about.
I jogged back to the truck near the trailhead and decided to take the more populated route back to Salt Lake city via Wendover. I enjoyed this hike enough that a winter climb will probably be in the sites for this winter.
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